My now-16-year-old son had severe tics that started as throat clearing and eye squeezing in 1st or 2nd grade. These came on gradually just after we tried him on 10 days of the stimulant Ritalin for attention deficit problems. He developed both small tics like jaw stretching and finger to thumb rubbing, and full body tics, like doing pirouettes while walking and painful stomach tics. One of his most difficult verbal tics was when his speech became interspersed with "t-t-t-t's". Most all of his motor tics, however, were bilateral - he'd do them on both sides of his body simultaneously and symmetrically. Also, an important part of his history is that he had had numerous ear infections while an infant as well as fluid behind his ear drum that wouldn't go away. His doctor had prescribed him a continuous regimen of antibiotics to try to lessen the fluid, but of course that was useless and he had tubes put into both ears at 21 months old.
After he would eat, I often thought that I noticed my son’s tics would worsen. Sometimes, his tics would seem to be taking a break, but they would develop again after a meal or snack. After a while, I could pinpoint certain foods in particular that would cause him to tic. Anything made with milk (like cheese that he loved), sometimes made him repeat a “hmm, hmm, hmm” sound, sometimes so quietly that I had to be very close by to hear it. We took away milk and milk products from his diet for a while, and if perchance he ate any dairy by accident, he’d get a violent reaction, clucking and almost retching. Also, whenever he had a food or candy colored with artificial dyes, these also caused his tics to accelerate. Worse, he’d behave uncharacteristically antsy, literally unable to sit still, and would wander around after ingesting these dyes for hours. Bright lights also were a trigger for him, as was even a tiny amount of MSG.
When he was in 3rd grade we began to work with an MD here who practices holistic and orthomolecular medicine. She's also a DAN doctor. For a long time I gave him Bontech vitamins which seemed to help some. Through lab testing. we found that neither allergies nor heavy metals were causing him problems. Rather, he had a heavy overgrowth of both yeast and clostridia in his gut as well as other parasites (like Dientamoeba fragilis). The Microbial Organic Acid Test through Great Plains Lab was the check we used to see the levels of yeast and clostridia metabolites. Needless to say, he also didn't have enough good bacteria - all this was probably due to the excessive use of antibiotics. We tried large amounts of probiotics and also nystatin, but though we continued the probiotics neither of these helped reduce his tics or the metabolite levels. What did finally help him were a series of three different homeopathic drops by Pleomorphic that very gradually reduced his yeast overgrowth (they were Pleo Alb, Pleo Forte, and one other I've now forgotten) and oil of wild oregano that reduced the clostridia overgrowth. I was quite disbelieving that the homeopathic drops worked but they clearly did, because his tics gradually diminished as we verified that the yeast overgrowth kept getting reduced as shown through repeated Microbial OAT's by Great Plains. The oil of oregano was so strong that he couldn't abide it, so I put drops of it inside empty capsules that I got at the health food store. When the Microbial OAT results showed that he no longer had either yeast or clostridia overgrowth, his tics were at a very very low level and eventually they went away completely. By then he was in 5th grade.
He has just completed 10th grade and has not tic-ced since probably the beginning of 6th grade. He can now enjoy dairy again with no repercussions. Bright lights (fluorescent or other) no longer affect him. He sometimes has food or candy with food coloring and they also no longer bother him. I believe that it was the lack of balance of good bacteria and the overgrowth of yeast and clostridia that made him sensitive and caused him these issues. We don't have tourettes in our family history, but do have some ocd. This site was very helpful to me back when he had tics and I still come here at times to check on things. I'm glad to have the chance to contribute and hope this can help someone.